DoN question for pzhon

    • gadget51
      gadget51
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.06.2008 Posts: 5,622
      Firstly, welcome to theworld of coaching us fish; have fun with it. :)
      I'm a beginner at SnGs and watched your intro vid about 'The Golden Rule' with great interest. It looks complicated for a beginner but I expect it's second nature to you regs. :)
      Anyway, just thought I'd ask this; Since at micro level <$20 the rake is 10% on my site (and no games usually above this level but I only play up to $5 for BRM), DoNs are a bit tough, very tight passive and with much min-raising and min-betting; limp-folding, even limp/pushing etc etc., as you no doubt know. So, will the theory of Nash Equilibrium as shown in your vid work there?
      Also, it seems to me that using this method I'll be pushing a LOT even in a standard SnG, is that correct? I'm fearless with my chips anyway but just trying to picture the mind set needed for it, if so, is all.

      Thanks in advance for any help. Have fun. :)
  • 6 replies
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Originally posted by gadget51
      Firstly, welcome to theworld of coaching us fish; have fun with it. :)
      I'm a beginner at SnGs and watched your intro vid about 'The Golden Rule' with great interest. It looks complicated for a beginner but I expect it's second nature to you regs. :)
      Thanks to all for the warm welcome.

      The Golden Rule becomes more natural with time. I recommend printing out the chart or having an equivalent chart up in a web page as you play. After a while, you will remember when the Golden Rule says something is a clear shove. Remember that you may be able to push even wider.


      Anyway, just thought I'd ask this; Since at micro level <$20 the rake is 10% on my site (and no games usually above this level but I only play up to $5 for BRM), DoNs are a bit tough, very tight passive and with much min-raising and min-betting; limp-folding, even limp/pushing etc etc., as you no doubt know. So, will the theory of Nash Equilibrium as shown in your vid work there?
      When both players are risk-averse, such as in a Double-or-Nothing tournament, then you have to be very careful of situations where your opponents may be calling wider than the Nash equilibrium. That can turn a profitable push into a clear fold. However, it is often the case that the Nash equilibrium strategy in a DoN is to push ATC from the small blind (and even earlier), and you may still be able to push ATC even when your opponent is calling a little wider than the Nash calling range. I see a lot of multitabling regs in DoNs, and many of those regs make great targets. Some regs are good enough to realize when they can't call with AKo even if they know you are pushing ATC, while most casual players don't understand the risk aversion.

      You describe situations where players are not playing push/fold. You may be able to find good alternatives to playing push/fold, particularly with deeper stacks. You aren't that risk-averse when you play a small pot, so plays which gain chips in small pots tend to gain equity. If you can steal the blinds often with a 2x-3x raise, and set up some profitable continuation bets when you just get called, then you might choose to make a small raise instead of pushing. However, you should be careful that you may be vulnerable to light resteals when you don't push. In a DoN, you usually don't want to let your opponent be the one who pushes all-in with folding equity. Even if you know your opponent has a wide range, you might not be able to call a push without a very strong hand.

      A common situation when you have something like 13 big blinds is that you may push with some hands, and make a small raise with others. You would make a small raise with AA hoping to provoke a resteal from a hand which couldn't call a push, and with 85s to steal cheaply, intending to fold to a resteal. You might push with hands like A5o or 77 which are strong enough to push, but which are not strong enough that you want to induce a resteal from JTs. If you are sometimes pushing, and sometimes making a small raise, then you might not be able to push as widely as you could if you were also pushing with AA. Your opponent may be able to call your pushes a little wider if you don't have AA in your pushing range, so some of the hands which would be Nash pushes might no longer be profitable.


      Also, it seems to me that using this method I'll be pushing a LOT even in a standard SnG, is that correct? I'm fearless with my chips anyway but just trying to picture the mind set needed for it, if so, is all.
      Yes, you can open-push very often from the small blind, much more often than many serious players push. Some players are very good at pushing for up to 10 big blinds, but don't realize that they should push almost as widely for 12 big blinds. Some winning players are afraid of spite calls and push too tightly, even though their average opponent is calling too tightly, and they could win more by pushing more from the small blind.

      You aren't looking for good hands, but good situations. You should fold hands like ATo in early position early in a tournament, and then when the blinds rise, you should often shove hands like 76o from the small blind. You fold ATo because, while you may have the best hand, you will tend to win a small pot when your hand is best, but lose a big one if you find out that it isn't. You push 76o later from the small blind because you only have one player to get through, that player is usually looking at some trash like J4o, and the cost of getting called by a better hand is not that large compared with the benefits from stealing the blinds.

      The best bad beats are the ones you give to others. SNG poker isn't about getting your money in with the best hand. You should be semibluffing often. If you don't get your money in with the worst hand often, then you aren't playing well.

      Some regs take this too far, and push too widely from the small blind. (SNG Wizard encourages this by giving the big blind overly tight default calling ranges.) This is exploitable, but it is a smaller mistake than many players make by not shoving widely enough.
    • gadget51
      gadget51
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.06.2008 Posts: 5,622
      Thank you for making such an effort. Last thing for now.

      Because of the structure(it's a minor site) the blinds in DoNs go up every 5 hands, again making it tough. Do blind structures affect our Nash ranges, or do we adjust by opening up earlier in the tourney? Or do we ignore the structure and play our range as is anyway? How does this blind structure affect our reg opponents, will they call lighter here? I noticed they still don't push light.

      Hope that makes sense.
    • thomster87
      thomster87
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.10.2007 Posts: 6,151
      Originally posted by pzhon
      A common situation when you have something like 13 big blinds is that you may push with some hands, and make a small raise with others. You would make a small raise with AA hoping to provoke a resteal from a hand which couldn't call a push, and with 85s to steal cheaply, intending to fold to a resteal. You might push with hands like A5o or 77 which are strong enough to push, but which are not strong enough that you want to induce a resteal from JTs. If you are sometimes pushing, and sometimes making a small raise, then you might not be able to push as widely as you could if you were also pushing with AA. Your opponent may be able to call your pushes a little wider if you don't have AA in your pushing range, so some of the hands which would be Nash pushes might no longer be profitable.
      What would you prefer and why?
      Work with small raises and pushes or pushing your whole range with 13 big blinds? There are pros and cons for both options and I know it depends highly on our opponents but maybe you can give me some helpful thoughts. :)
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Originally posted by gadget51
      Thank you for making such an effort. Last thing for now.

      Because of the structure(it's a minor site) the blinds in DoNs go up every 5 hands, again making it tough. Do blind structures affect our Nash ranges, or do we adjust by opening up earlier in the tourney? Or do we ignore the structure and play our range as is anyway? How does this blind structure affect our reg opponents, will they call lighter here? I noticed they still don't push light.

      Hope that makes sense.
      The ICM ignores future blind increases, so the Nash equilibrium computed according to the ICM ignores how the blinds will change in the future.

      There are times to make adjustments when the blinds will change. However, you want to steal the blinds when the rewards outweigh the risks, and it is primarily the current level which determines the reward from stealing the blinds.

      I'm not sure how your opponents will play, and regs on different sites play differently. (I was shocked by how loosely players called in tournaments a student sent me from a country-specific server.) It is useful to have an idea how widely Nash opponents should call in some situation, and compare that with how often you get called when you shove. I haven't played that many DoNs, but in the few I played, the regs called very tightly, but the casual players would make some terrible spite calls.

      If the blinds go up too rapidly with a high rake, you should ask yourself whether the games are beatable at all, or for a decent hourly rate. Usually, the games are softer when the rake is higher as the shark:fish ratio drops, so the games are still beatable. However, sometimes the games will get too tough to beat as the regs are slow to move on after the casual players decide to play something else. So, you may want to check how much others are making in your games using Sharkscope's leader boards. Be careful that looking up players while you play may be against the site's rules.
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Originally posted by thomster87
      What would you prefer and why?
      Work with small raises and pushes or pushing your whole range with 13 big blinds? There are pros and cons for both options and I know it depends highly on our opponents but maybe you can give me some helpful thoughts. :)
      It definitely depends on your opponents. If they resteal a lot, then you should tend to push more and not make many small raises. If they defend by calling, then small raises may be viable. It's good to take notes, and to use a HUD with a resteal statistic.

      Be careful about inducing action with hands that are not strong enough to want action. There is a button in my program ICM Explorer marked "Steal or Induce?" The question is whether you want to provoke a resteal all-in or not. Some players will resteal all-in with a wider range than they will call all-in. A hand like AA will put the money in either way, so don't worry about that. Hands like JTs and 44 might be restealing hands, but not calling hands. When you have a hand like AK or 88, ask whether you want action from the marginal restealing hands. If not, push.

      Here is an example of the output from a bubble situation:

      Equity before hand: 0.25
      Equity of a steal: 0.2594
      Failed steal, win: 0.3833
      Failed steal, lose: 0
      Ties are worth 65.22% of a win.

      Equity vs. marginal resteals needed to induce action: 67.67%

      If takes a strong hand to have that much equity against the marginal resteals. So, if your opponent rarely calls, and resteals wider than he will call, then you should push almost all hands in risk-averse situations like this instead of making smaller raises.
    • gadget51
      gadget51
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.06.2008 Posts: 5,622
      Great stuff. Thank you very much to all for the superb info; and yes, I need to move sites but the freerolls and micro-cash on here are goldmines, I've won $000s :) . I will transfer to a better site for SnGs as soon as I rebuild the BR and I can afford both sites. Thank you again.